Sunday, March 15, 2009

Battle of The Sexes, Part II

Now, it's time for some of the biggest problems with martial arts training from the male perspective.

Problem #1: Being chivalrous inside the dojo

Anyone that knows me will tell you that probably my biggest peeve is men hitting women, for obvious reasons. While it is inexcusable to for a man to hit a woman (only exception: if the man's life is in danger, then all chivalry goes out the window), inside the classroom men should forget all about chivalry. While it's understandable and admirable to not want to hurt your female (and fellow male for that matter) counterparts in class, those women need to be prepared for the stereotypical male assailant on the street that could care less about not hitting a woman.

Problem #2: Strength solves everything

The first few UFC fights threw this theory out the window when the average-sized Royce Gracie defeated opponent after opponent, with many of them having an obvious size and strength advantage. Another point is that strength means nothing without accuracy, technique and timing (i.e., a strong right cross does nothing if it doesn't hit its target, right?). As my chief instructor, Master Kang Rhee tells beginners (especially males) "no power, no speed," meaning proper targeting and technique comes first; you can always improve power and speed later, but you have to actually hit the target first!

Problem #3: Training only with other men

There are quite a few things men can learn from training with women. One thing I have personally picked up from sparring with women is how to deal with a smaller and quicker opponent, and also a blitzing opponent, as many women like to go all out with men since "we can take the punishment." On another note, there is an increase of women attacking men (stop laughing male chauvinists), so it would help to train with women to better understand them.

Problem #4: Being "Number 1" or "The Man"

By nature, men are accustomed to being in charge, or being "the man." Two big problems with this are (1) pride, which needs no further explanation, and (2) being more concerned with advancing through the ranks than learning the material while advancing.

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